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by Nick Usborne
As freelancers we all work to deadlines. But often we work to deadlines set by our clients.
This is fine, of course. Ultimately we need to meet the times and dates our clients set us.
But if you want to be more productive and efficient in how you work, you should also be setting some deadlines of your own.
Let me give you an example of how a client deadline alone can lead to lower productivity.
Let's say it's the beginning of the day and you have until tomorrow lunchtime to complete and deliver a particular job.
If you work based on that deadline alone, you are likely to spend a day and a half on the job. That's how we are sometimes. We expand our work to fit the available time.
This is where adding your own deadlines comes in.
Instead of using all that time to complete that one task, be tough on yourself and add some other tasks that need to be done within that same period.
Put aside two hours to do some new client acquisition work. Allocate an hour to updating your filing. Create a time slot for catching up on your invoicing or bookkeeping.
In other words, give yourself more work than your clients are giving you.
There are a number of benefits to being tough on yourself in this way.
First, obviously, you'll get a lot more done between now and tomorrow lunchtime.
Second, you'll probably do a better job for your client, simply because a tighter deadline forces us to focus with greater concentration and clarity.
Third, you'll feel better.
You'll feel better about getting more done.
And you'll feel a greater sense of accomplishment after meeting not only your client's deadline, but also those you set for yourself.
NOTE: To increase your productivity as a writer, follow the 5 rituals I lay out in my guide for writers, Writing Rituals. Learn more at the Writing Rituals web site...
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Get your copy of Writing For the Web #1 - 7 Challenges every Writer and Copywriter faces when writing for the Web.
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